“We have our trip a bit planned. We are arriving in Kathmandu, will stay 3 nights, and then head to Pokhara. Flying seems a bit expensive, so I would like to ride a motorcycle there, and a couple other people in our trip will take a bus.”
Mads Mathiasen, a local specialist from Nepal, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.
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Trip planning conversation
So will it just be you renting the bike?
I am working on convincing another girl in our group to do it with me.
Easy choice, in my opinion :) I took an enfield from Kathmandu to Pokhara last time I was in Nepal; much better than a long cramped bus ride
Do you know what kind of bikes you want?
I saw one site had a KTM Duke 390, I have that at home, and it is a pretty easy ride for a girl.
Not such a heavy bike, or? Definitely will need to maneuver quite a bit in and out of the traffic, potholes, etc
Yeah it is pretty light.
btw, I wrote this article a while back if helpful: http://www.trekkingpartners.com/2013/12/02/renting-motorcycle-kathmandu-nepal/
I read it! :) Thanks.
Ideally, there would be at least two of you, just for safety, plus it's more fun
Stopping in Bandipur on the way is well worth it alone... you could spend a night at the Old Inn there, which is amazing. Showing your friends some pictures should be able to convince them :)
As far as two girls traveling alone... safety shouldn't be an issue, or do you recommend we get a guide?
(Some photos of the inn in Bandipur: http://alextreadway.co.uk/the-old-inns-nepal/)
Oh wow! Great pics.
For motorcycling, you're fine... As long as you're comfortable on bikes. That is a must. Biking is dangerous as is, but Kathmandu is of course a bit crazier. Lots of hazards, but the plus side is that the traffic moves slow
Bandipur is a ridge-top town in between Kathmandu and Pokhara (closer to Pokhara)
Ok. Thanks for your advice. Feel free to come back to Nepal and be our guide! :)
Would love to, someday :) Working hard on kimkim at the moment, however
But we can help you arrange the bikes (reliable bikes, that is) and a stay in Bandipur, possibly
That would be great.
And if you're planning any other activities, we can help
What else do you have planned, or looking to plan?
Yeah, ideas for day trips in Nepal and Pokhara would be great.
And you'll be a group of 5?
Yes, we are 5. We plan to be in Kathmandu for two full days (wanting to get a glimpse of Everest if possible since we aren't able to have time for a trek).
Only chance to see Everest would be on a mountain flight (around $200-300 from KTM)
Then Pokhara for 3-4 nights. Staying one night close to the lake in the "downtown" area, and two nights out at the Pavillion.
In Pokhara, the goal is mostly relaxing? I see you were interested in paragliding, as well
I would like to do some day adventures. But the whole group is not into that. There would be about 2-3 of us wanting to do some of that.
We were also looking into some Yoga centers. That was part of our original plan.
Right, with a large group, interests diverge...
You could possibly make the trek to Poon Hill in 3 days, if that interested some of you
For yoga, one of our local experts, Sam, runs this studio in Kathmandu: http://pranamaya-yoga.com/
Pokhara, of course, will have a few studios, as well
If we hike, I think it would have to be pretty mild... like half/full day treks.
Ok, I will add this one to our itinerary for Kathmandu.
Nagarkot was brought up by kimkim as a suggestion while in Kathmandu Valley. Is that a day trip we can do from Kathmandu?
I might bring in one of our local experts here, but we'll put a short list of recommendations together for you for us to discuss. After that, we'll help book and organize the bikes, stay in Bandipur (in needed), and any day tours
It is, most often done with an overnight so you get the sunset/sunrise views of the Himalaya
Thanks so much.
That would be a great option for all of you. (You can also take a bike there, as well - good prep for the ride to Pokhara)
If you have recommendations f where to stay in Nagarkot that would be great as well.
A friend of mine has a private cottage she rents out to guests over the weekend. I've stayed here a number of times, and it's the best (somewhat secret) spot in Nagarkot. You're own private cottage:
We could include this as part of your trip, and you could split the price five ways (you all can fit)
Love that idea!
If we do Nagarkot, should we leave a day in between that and leaving for Pokhara, or start our ride from there over to Pokhara (on bikes I mean).
I have to head offline but let's talk again soon. I'm going to bring in one of our local experts to work with me on putting together a trip for you guys. You'll be able to review it, customize it, and book it if you're happy with it. I know you already have some of your trip arranged already, but we can make it work with that - sound good?
You can start your ride the same day if you leave after breakfast
Sounds great. Thanks so much for all your help. Love this site of yours. :) If you are ever traveling in Thailand, hit me up. Happy to help!
Ok. Great thanks. :)
Glad you found us :)
I will, where do you live there?
Here's a rough itinerary based on our earlier discussion. Idea is to see how we can help organize your trip and what parts you already have arranged. Based on your feedback, I'll bring in a local expert to sort through the details. Exact details in terms of availability/logistics to be determined :)
*Note that a stay at the Old Inn in Bandipur will take a night away from your stay at the Pavilion. Both places are nice, so hard choice here... Also will figure out the best options for your group to return back to Kathmandu.
April 9 - Kathmandu
- arrive, settle in, explore around
- go somewhere nice for sunset (we’ll have a few suggestions here)
- local Nepali restaurant for dinner (also will have a list of suggestions)
- as it’s Saturday, head to Jazz Upstairs for some drinks and live music
April 10 - Kathmandu
- morning yoga class at Pranayama Yoga in Kathmandu (http://pranamaya-yoga.com/)
- visits to Boudhanath, Pashupatinath and/or Swayambhu
- check out a local favorite - Sam’s Bar - in the evening
April 11 - Kathmandu to Nagarkot
- morning to relax, explore, maybe another yoga class
- in the early afternoon, make your way to Bhaktipur to tour the old city and have lunch
- from Bhaktipur, head up to Nagarkot for the night (~30-minute commute)
- you can take public transport/private taxi/or motorcycle to Bhaktipur and Nagarkot
- would suggest starting your motorcycle rental today (it's a great ride up to Nagarkot)
- night in Nagarkot, sunrise views of the Himalaya in the morning
- possible lodging: http://www.wildearthjourneys.com/himalayan-retreat-cottage
April 12 - Nagarkot to Bandipur
- 1-2 people motorcycle from Nagarkot/Kathmandu to Bandipur
- from Nagarkot, it will be a good 7-8 hours by motorcycle (with rest stops along the way)
- spend one night at the Old Inn in Bandipur
- the rest of group takes public bus (or flies) to Pokhara
- optional, they could take a public bus to Bandipur
April 13 - Bandipur to Pokhara
- mid-morning departure for Pokhara, arriving early afternoon
- stay at hotel near lakeside
April 14 - Pokhara
- stay at the Pavilions Himalaya
April 15 - Pokhara - Kathmandu
Depending on what you already have arranged, we can help organize and book:
- transport, if needed, around Kathmandu
- motorcycle rental (will ensure the bikes are reliable)
- accommodation in Nagarkot
- stay at the Old Inn in Bandipur
- accommodation in Pokhara (Lakeside/Pavilion)
- paragliding, rafting, or other day activities (rafting is best out of Kathmandu)
On a side note, thought this place might interest you, as well:
http://www.thelastresort.com.np/ (reached from Kathmandu)
Alex, thanks for all your suggestions. It would be great to get some help with the transport. Ideally, I would like to do as u suggested rent a bike from Monday, April 11th, head to Nagarkot and then the next day to Bandipur for the night of the 12th, and arrive to Pokhara on the 13th. However, for time saving is it possible to get the bikes for one way, and arrange some transport back. I read about some travelers doing that. I am not sure the feasibility for cost for all that, we don't need big bikes as we are gals and not planning to go too fast. Just as you say, something reliable. Is it possible to get an idea of what that would cost
As far as the only 4 ladies, they would take a taxi up to Nagarkot, but then also want to leave the next day. Could you help us arrange a private driver to leave Nagarkot early morning on the 12th, stay the night with us bikers in Bandipur and then arrive in Pokhara the next day. Is it also possible to get a quotation for that transportation. This way I can tell the girls the plan with prices. We also like the idea of seeing Bhaktipur on our way to Nagarkot.
Again thanks for all your help. I think kimkim is pretty amazing and have already recommended it to some fellow international teachers who travel a ton.
Renting bikes one-way
It's possible, from what I've heard, to ride your bikes one-way. It's costs a bit more because the owner/rental agency has to send someone by bus to pick up the bike and drive it back to Kathmandu. Let's see how much it costs, as it might not be prohibitive.
Private taxi from Nagarkot to Bandipur, and Bandipur to Pokhara
Sounds like a good plan, and the same arrangement I had with a friend of mine when I biked to Bandipur (they took a private car). The driver, then, has the option of waiting for you in Pokhara and bringing you back to Kathmandu. (We'll see what kind of options are available for 5 people for the return.)
Glad to hear that you are spreading the word about kimkim :)
Next step, here, is to get your the quotes. Do you have your local hotel arranged in Kathmandu and Pokhara already, or can we help with that? Also, are all your flights booked for arriving on April 9th?
Just letting you know that I invited one of our local experts, Mads (20 yrs of experience in Nepal :) ), to join us here. He'll take a quick read through our conversation and then put a plan together along with some initial quotes. I'll continue to be here as well to help any way I can
Super excited to help you and your friends out with your trip to Nepal. Having spent more of my time there the last 20 years and traveled a lot of Nepal on the back of a motorbike, I think you will enjoy the ride to Pokhara though parts of the road is very hectic.
Great itinerary Alex have put together, the jazz upstairs idea is awesome, it has been my Saturday living room in Kathmandu for many years... The only think I could add is that you could do some of your Kathmandu sightseeing on the back of a vintage vespa.
Otherwise before I get to excited about putting a price together for you, could yuo please let me know if you would like me to include the hotels in Nagarkot, Bandipur and Pokhara as well as the transport?
Looking forward to putting this all together for you!
thabks for all the messages. We actual have our hotels put together for all of the trip besides nagarkot. So mainly we need help with the transportation from Nagarkot to Bundipur (lodging in Bundipur as well), and then transport to Pokhara. We are flying back from Pokhara to Kathmandu, but haven't bought those. Main thing would be:
-transport via car from Nagarkot to Bundipar and pokhara.
-bike rental and pick up prices for two for two or three days (we think we will take Alex's suggestion and take them with us to Nagarkot... Maybe that will help us avoid some traffic)
-accommodations for Nagarkot for one night and Bundipar for a night
Thanks so much for your help. Oh and yes we have our ticket from Bangkok to Kathmandu already. We booked about two month ago! :)
Sounds good, I will get the price for this put together for you today hopefully. Everyone in Nepal are a little caught up in Holi (color festival), I think something similar is happening in Thailand but just with water?
I will get back to ASAP with prices.
I have put together two different prices, one for the two of you who will be riding on bikes (based on Pulsar 220 CC or similar http://www.bajajauto.com/pulsar220dtsi_index.asp ) and one for the 3 others who will be in a car. I have based both prices on taking the bikes and the hire car from Kathmandu up to Nagarkot as well. It doesn't cost much extra to have the hire car for the drive up there as well, as it will have to come up and get them from there before heading towards Bandipur anyway. In Nagarkot the hotel Alex suggested is not available, so I would suggest Country Villa http://www.hotelcountryvilla.com/ instead. So here we go;
3 days bikes hire plus relocation to Kathmandu from Pokhara
1 night in one twin share and one triple share room in Country Villa in Nagarkot on B&B basis
1 night in one twin share and one triple share room in Old Inn in Bandipur on B&B basis
3 car hire with drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara via Nagarkot and Bandipur
1 night in one twin share and one tripple share room in Country Villa in Nagarkot on B&B basis
1 night in one twin share and one tripple share room in Old Inn in Bandipur on B&B basis
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to change any of the above. I must mention that if you are booked into the Pavilions Resort in Pokhara then the 3 in the car will have to get the hotel to pick them up in Pokhara where the black topped road ends as the last few km to the hotel is jeep track.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you and helping you with your trip in Nepal.
on another note, Pranamaya Yoga also has a studio in Pokhara so you can also yoga while you are there. You can see their location and schedule here: http://pranamaya-yoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Class-schedule-Pokhara-September-2014.pdf
Oh darn.. I was thinking the bike rent would be cheaper bc the prices I originally saw online were like $25... But the retun for pick up must be kind of spendy. We may all just need to take a car on the way back.
Would it be cheaper if we took like Vespas or something? If not... What are the possibilities of a private van heading to Pokhara for all five of us?!?
Thanks so much for the quotes.
I will show the numbers to my friends!!! :)
Maybe you could give me a breakdown of prices for each thing, like hotel night, driver, etc...: broken down it might look cheaper to them!!! :)
I totally get it, thinking of accommodations in there for two nights makes the price breakdown better. I may fudge one for my friends just so they see that it includes nice accommodations etc...
In your personal opinion, bike or bus? I am trying to convince my friend to bike with me, she is hesitant about riding in the traffic bc she is reading online it is horrible. We live in Bangkok and I told her they say the same about here, but in you own personal experience do you think I should push it bc it is totally worth it, or not much different via private driver?
I would rather be on a bike any day, but that is just me. The only place I have been that scares me on a motorbike is Australia ast dusk, the kangaroos are deadly! Seriously traffic is no worse than Bangkok, a LOT slower and people look after each other. That is in Kathmandu, on the highway just drive defensively, my mantra is always: expect the unexpected... I must check you both have bike licenses? Your travel insurance will not help you if you have an accident and no license, so if you don't have one we can't help you arrange the bikes rental. The good thing about having the other guys in the car is you can follow the car out of Kathmandu on day 1 and through Kathmandu on day 2. The rest is pretty easy to navigate.
Ok, just chatted with the ladies and they are all for the car rental/accomodations with you. They say the price sounds good. However, there will only be two traveling by car, and 3 actually want to ride bikes, hard core ladies. I have my motorbike licnense, but the other two do not. They also want to inquire about renting a vespa to drive instead of a manual. They have a lot of experience on these bikes, and have read that there are places that rent these to people with no license... true? Possible? If that could be arranged for us through you that woud be AWESOME!
So we do want the car for two people (along with accomodations for Nagarkot and Bandipur). As well as 3 bikes. Possibly Vespas if possible. If not I think they will have to take the car and I will be on my own.
Also, let us know how we take care of payment for any booking! :) Thanks.
A quick note on motorcycle licenses: unfortunately, we can't help arrange rentals without a motorcycle license. A license is required in Nepal, and without one any travel insurance you have could be voided. Really wish we could help here, but we'll only be able to organize a motorcycle/scooter rental for you at this point - hope that's O.K.
Mads should be online this morning (your time) and will post an updated price for 1 pax on a motorbike and 4 pax in a car. After that, once ready, I'll send you a payment form to finalize your booking. Stay tuned :)
We already booked the flight back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Do you know the bike that I will get to ride?
Also... The two girls are thinking of just getting bikes when they get there... So can you give us the option of just two people in the car with accommodations. And another quote for just two people in our accommodations.... Or too complicated?
Ok, totally understandable. They are looking into getting their Thai motorcycle license this weekend, if it works out great. If not they said they would be fine in a car, so we might not be totally out of luck after all. They don't want to be illegal either. One of the gals is the head of our school so also wants everything to be legit. Our school secretary is calling to see if it is possible to get them into the class this weekend, it is in Thai, but they will just have to listen to a seminar, and take a test with a translator.
Sounds good, and glad to hear they're trying to get their license. Just let us know what you decide on
Ok thanks! Sorry for being such a pain!
Alright, the other girls have given up on the bike license so they are 4 in the car. Just me on the bike. Final call! :) Let me know how we should take care of payment and final costs. Thanks
Here is the itinerary: mainly need help from April 11-12/13 (bike/car returned)
April 9- Fly in stay at Mi Casa, Kathmandu (booked already)
April 10- Spend the day in Kathmandu, also Mi Casa for accommodations (booked already)
April 11- Take off for Nagarkot (KimKim-bike, car pick up, and accommodations needed)
April 12- Leave Nagarkot for Bandipur (KimKim-need car, bike, and accommodations needed)
April 13- Leave Nagarkot for Pokhara (staying at Silver Oaks... already booked)
-Return car and bike back to Kathmandu via KimKim
April 14 -Pokhara/Silver Oaks (booked already)
April 15- Pokhara/The Pavilions (booked already)
April 16- Return to Kathmandu (bought flights already and fly back to Bangkok, flights also bought)
Is it possible to get our payment separate for the car people and bike people? If not it is ok too, but if it is easy that would be fabulous! :)
All is confirmed, we will contact you at you hotel the day before you leave for Nagarkot. I will also send you office numbers in an email
Great! Thanks so much. Very helpful. We have them all filled out for doing it upon arrival but if it saves time then we should maybe just donit online! :)
Is it possible to know the kind of car the other girls are getting? They were wondering how much space they would have to relax in the ride. Just wanted to make sure it wasn't a tiny car. They may kill me if so! ;)
Trying to do the online application. Do you know how to find the ward numbers of addresses in Nepal?
Got it! Nevermind. All registered! :)
The online form is similar to the form you'd hand in on-arrival. You'll need to print it out and hand it over the immigration officer along with the correct cash for your visa duration.
Regarding the type of vehicle, I'll reach out to Mads about that...
No need! Sounds good to me! :) thanks guys. See you soon Mads!
Ok thanks! Mads you mentioned a Jazz Club in Kathmandu. What's the name of the place u suggested that we check out?
Jazz upstairs in Lazimpath near the Radisson hotel
Great have a good time and let me know if you need help with anything
Ok sounds great! Let us know if you guys are around and we can meet up. :) we will be back in Kathmandu on the 16th! :)
We will be trekking out of Pokhara when you get back to Kathmandu on the 16th. What time do you fly back to Bangkok?
Oh shoot. We leave pokhara around 1pm and then Kathmandu around midnight. Have fun!
Likewise! sorry to miss you.